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Laura Steinberg Named Director of Schiller Institute

Boston College named Laura Steinberg the first director of the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society on Thursday morning, according to a University release. Steinberg, who will begin her role in May, is currently serving as the interim executive director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems at Syracuse University. Steinberg is also the founding director of Syracuse’s Infrastructure Institute.

“I am delighted to join Boston College as the founding Seidner Executive Director of the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society,” Steinberg said in the release. “With a new state-of-the-art building, funding for 22 new faculty members, and the enthusiastic support of the University community, the Institute offers the perfect opportunity for faculty and students across all of BC’s schools and colleges to collaborate in addressing complex global challenges.”

With the hiring of Steinberg, four of the last five non-athletics senior administrators hired by BC have been women, according to a conversation with another administrator. In July, Karen Muncaster began her role as dean of the Woods College of Advancing Studies and then-interim Vice President of Student Affairs Joy Moore permanently stepped into her position. Amy Yancey began her role as vice president for development in October, and Rev. James Keenan, S.J., was named the vice provost for Global Engagement in February.

Multiple senior administrators expressed excitement with the hiring of Steinberg as the new director of the Schiller Institute, including Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Dean Rev. Greg Kalscheur, S.J.; Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley; and Vice Provost for Research Tom Chiles.

“Her leadership will engage faculty, students, and the larger Boston College community as we work to bring our vision for the Schiller Institute to life,” Quigley said in the release.

Currently in construction, the Schiller Institute is a five-story project that is expected to cost $150 million and will house 11 classrooms, one 188-seat auditorium, two “active learning spaces,” multiple labs, offices, “maker-spaces,” and a café. The project is a major part of BC’s efforts to expand into STEM education, as it is intended to enhance the quality of STEM programs such as computer science and physics.

“The mission of the Schiller Institute at Boston College is to create new initiatives in basic and applied science, educate the next generation of science and technology leaders and innovators, develop new tools to address crucial societal problems, and promote partnerships with industry and the public and private sectors,” the release said. 

“Through the Schiller Institute, Boston College will advance new interdisciplinary academic programs in integrated and applied sciences, computer and data science, and human-centered engineering, to complement the global public health program that was launched in 2018.”

Schiller is also intended to receive the LEED Silver Certification, an indicator of environmental sustainability, which two of BC’s most recent constructions—Stokes Hall and 2150 Comm. Ave. —have also received. The LEED Silver Certification is given to buildings with a high score in environmental efficiency.

Feature Image Courtesy of Office of University Communications

February 7, 2020